In digital ads, a political advocacy group makes the false claim that Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Illinois Democrats voted to “eliminate all restrictions on abortions up until the day of birth.”
A day after a protest in Grand Rapids inspired by the murder of George Floyd turned violent, Democratic House candidate Hillary Scholten of Michigan pleaded for “peaceful” protests and urged demonstrators “to not resort to violence and destruction.” An ad from a Republican PAC falsely claims Scholten “dismissed the destruction.”
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to eliminate state permit requirements for carrying concealed firearms, and he supports banning abortion, with limited exceptions, after 15 weeks of pregnancy. But political ads from former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s campaign misleadingly claim that DeSantis opposes “any background checks” on gun buyers and “wants to ban abortion” in all cases.
After Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes funding to increase staff at the IRS, social media posts falsely claimed members of Congress “voted to exempt themselves from IRS auditing of their personal finances.” An IRS spokesperson told us “there is no such special exemption,” and we found no such vote had been taken.
In a 2012 documentary, Magic Johnson discussed his HIV diagnosis and how it has affected his career. Social media posts are sharing an image from the documentary to falsely claim it shows Johnson donating blood for people with COVID-19. Johnson hasn’t donated HIV-infected blood for any medical reason.
The IRS Criminal Investigation division’s “Adrian Project” educates the public about the IRS through community outreach sessions with high school and college students. Posts on social media are sharing a video from one of the sessions to falsely claim it shows agents in training. The images were posted by a New Jersey university in 2017 and earlier this year.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes $79 billion for the IRS. Social media posts misleadingly claim the IRS will now hire “87,000 new agents” to investigate average citizens. But most new hires will provide customer services, and enforcement efforts will be aimed at “high-income and corporate tax evaders,” a Treasury Department spokesperson said.
The House passed a bill on July 29 that would make it a crime to knowingly “import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon.” Social media posts falsely claim “millions of people will become felons overnight” because of the bill. Under the bill, current owners of such firearms would be allowed to keep them.
Three stimulus payments have been sent to Americans to ease the economic impact of the pandemic. Social media posts are now sharing a false claim about a new, $40,000 federal stimulus loan. But it’s a marketing ploy. The bottom of the web page says, “This is not a government program nor is it government aid, this is an advertorial for a loan service.”